BJ Ryan has come out recently with his disapproval of being under-worked. He believes he needs to pitch on a consistent basis in order to get back to where he used to be.
However, I believe that Ryan is just a shell of his former self, and will never again be able to regain his All-Star form.
BJ Ryan has had an up and down stint with the Toronto Blue Jays ever since signing a five year, $47 million deal in 2006 to become the Jays' closer and shore up the bullpen.
His first season went exactly the way the Jays hoped it would go, as Ryan saved 38 games in 42 opportunities with a 1.37 ERA in 72 and one-third innings pitched.
Then, after appearing in just five games during the 2007 season, the bad news was announced: BJ Ryan needed Tommy John Surgery and would not pitch again that season.
He would come back earlier then expected and took over the closer's role once again during the first month of the 2008 season. He ended up pitching well, saving 32 games in 36 opportunities and finishing with a 2.95 ERA in 58 innings of work.
However, there were signs that Ryan would never again be the dominating closer he once was.
Ryan was never a guy that was going to blow his fastball by a hitter and he had lost three MPH on his fastball—alarming at the time, but not yet a catastrophe.
Also alarming was Ryan's lack of control. He walked eight more batters in 2008 than in 2006 despite pitching 14 fewer innings.
These two things made sure that Ryan never made it easy on Jays fans when he came in for his inning of work. There was never a save where Ryan could just go one-two-three. By the time the third out was recorded, there would be two guys on base and Ryan would be sweating bullets.
Which leads us to this year. Ryan had lost a couple of more MPH on his fastball at the beginning of spring training, and his control had gotten even worse then the prior season.
This was alarming to many, but the Jays still decided to use him as the closer to begin the season. It didn't last long, as Ryan blew two of his first four save opportunities—looking absolutely brutal in the process.
Ryan was actually put on the disabled list after an April in which his ERA ballooned to 11.12. Scott Downs took over and looked great in the process, meaning that Ryan would not close upon his return.
We are now closing in on the All-Star break and Ryan is looking no better. In 20 and one-third innings, his ERA sits at 6.53, and he has walked an amazing 17 batters.
It is beyond me how Ryan actually believes he deserves more pitching opportunities to get back in a groove. Is it going to help him with his control or throw faster? I highly doubt it.
Haven't the Jays given him plenty of chances this season, including his last appearance in which he gave up three runs and cost the Jays another win?
Thankfully, Cito Gaston feels the exact same as me, and will only use Ryan in mop up duty.
Sorry, Ryan. Your time has passed and you will no longer be a viable option for any team that has thoughts of contending.
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